Sun | Nov 29, 2020

634 Jamaicans detained since SOE in western parishes

Published:Thursday | June 6, 2019 | 1:52 PM
File photo

Danae Hyman, Online Reporter

A total of 634 persons have been detained since the imposition of the State of Public Emergency in St James, Hanover, and Westmoreland more than a month ago.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the security measure on April 30 for the three western parishes in a bid to curtail crime there.

In an interview with The Gleaner, Deputy Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, who heads the police’s Corporate Communications Unit, said that crimes in the three parishes have plummeted since the implementation of the security measure.

“For the month of May there were zero murders in Westmoreland and since the state of emergency St James has had a significant reduction in the number of murders compared to what it was experiencing previously.

“In my opinion, the state of emergency is working because when we can have a month in a parish such as Westmoreland without a murder it speaks volume to the interruption and the violence intervention that the state of emergency has,” Garrick said.

According to her, out of the 634 individuals detained, 598 were processed and released with 36 still in custody.

Garrick informed that persons are typically detained based on intelligence gathered, investigative leads and on suspicion of involvement in a crime.

Detention objection

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Emergency Powers Review Tribunal, attorney Walter H Scott, QC, told The Gleaner that no objection has been filed by detainees under the state of public emergency.

The three-member panel, which also comprises retired Supreme Court judge Justice Lloyd Hibbert and Dr David Henry, attorney-at-law and pastor, was established on May 7 to review the cases of persons who are detained or whose freedom of movement has been restricted.

How to file an objection

Here is how someone can file an objection:

* Objections should be in writing, provided and signed by the objector or by an attorney-at-law representing the objector.

* All objections must contain the full name of the objector, his/her address, date and place of detention, contact information for the objector’s attorney if one has been retained.

* The notice of objection form can be downloaded from the Ministry of National Security’s website at www.mns.gov.jm

* Objections are to be submitted to the Chairman of the Tribunal via email at westerntrib2019@gmail.com.

* Hearings of the Tribunal will be held at the Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay, St James.

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